Like Robert Deniro is to New York films, Mike Carroll is to San Francisco skateboard videos. As Martin Scorsese was the man behind Deniro's camera, Jacob Rosenberg was the man behind Carroll's fisheye. This powerhouse duo produced some of the best skateboard video parts with the most memorable backdrop: Embarcadero. In conjuction with Lakai Limited Footwear, and to help introduce the Carroll Select/Embarko Limited Edition shoe, Bobshirt talks to Mike Carroll and Jacob Rosenberg about their San Francisco salad days.

intro by Mike Regan. inteviews by Mike Regan & Tim Anderson
photos- courtesy of Jacob Rosenberg

What's your earliest memory of filming at Embarcadero
It seems so long ago now (at least 18 years), it's hard to remember the first time I filmed there. I do remember going there or meeting Greg Carroll and a few of the Venture skaters and filming them.

What's your earliest memory of filming with MIKE?
My earliest memories of filming with Mike are driving to his house in Daly City and sitting on the couch waiting for him to get ready. We'd stop by FTC then head to EMB and film. Mike would always have mix tapes of unreleased or underground hip hop for the drive.

How did you meet Mike?
I met Mike through his brother Greg. I started to film for a Venture Trucks video that never came to fruition. Instead I made The DTS (Dogtown) Video and the Think Video (Partners in Crime or Think Crime it was called). I used to be at EMB filming and eventually you sort of graduated to turning your camera towards the people landing the big tricks. Mike would be skating the little 3 or the ledge and I would just naturally start filming him. Once that started, I just kind of became his exclusive filmer and then that advanced to Plan B filming full time.

Did you get along with the EMB crew? Was there anybody that you didn't get along with?
I have great memories of all the guys from EMB. I was never there to show them up or compete with them, I was there to make video parts for them and film them so after I did Wing Ding's part for DTS and all the Think Skater's part, I was pretty much cool with everyone. There were kids in Palo Alto and Hayward who I remember being very not cool with my success as a filmer and in one instance some of the kids came to EMB and James stuck up for me and talked them down over some shit.

What's your last memory of filming with Mike?
My last vivid memory of filming with Mike is filming next to the San Diego Bay on the curbs that were featured pretty heavily in Virtual Reality. We were filming lines and I was taking a stationary angle on a curb and Mike Ternasky was following Mikey doing a line. Mike was pretty inconsistent that night, so at one point, he grabbed my board and launched it into the ocean. I was beyond pissed, but I was in that difficult position of wanting so badly to be accepted by Mikey and at the same time cursing him, so I took it for the team and didn't confront him. Temperatures were very hot with Plan B at that time and obviously what happened after was indicative as to how sensitive things were. But that day is the last vivid memory I have of filming Mike.

Who was the most random pro you ever saw roll through Embarcadero?
Random... hmmmm... Danny Way was pretty random, but that was the time of the SF contest.

Whats the best trick you've seen go down the Gonz (documented or not)?
I saw a lot of people Ollie the Gonz, but I wasn't at EMB when I wasn't filming so I missed a lot of crazy tricks going down. The best trick would have been filming Rick try F-Side Shove-It, but he didn't land. The best intentioned trick would be Mike Carroll's Nollie-Flip, he could have landed it and he knows it, we all know... oh the pain....

Whats the best trick you've seen go down the 7 (documented or not)?
I want to say a Big-Spin Flip, but I may be making that up.

Do you have a favorite video clip that you filmed from the Embarcadero days?
Just for the sake of what it looks like today, Mike's Nose-Wheelie on the C-Block to Nollie heelflip out where he lands sketchy and then steps off his board to focus it. That is just pure classic Mike Carroll, and I am sure my presence at the time contributed to his desire to focus the board. Our synergy was fantastic.

What's the craziest non-skate related thing you ever saw happen at Embarcadero?
There was a bum who appeared dead, I mean didn't move or anything. The kids started to light off fire-crackers under his head as he laid on top of the Wave. They lit maybe 5 fire-crackers and the dude never budged.

Do you ever miss filming skateboarding?
I do miss filming skateboarding. I tried to set something up with Mike Carroll for the Lakai video, but that never happened. I have been talking to Danny and Rodney recently about filming and I think my time away from it gives me a chance to do something different than what I did with Skate Videos before. I don’t miss the inconsistency of people trying to land tricks, but I miss the feeling of Landing tricks and having them on tape. That’s always an incredible moment.

What is your fondest memory of Mike Ternasky?
My fondest memory... it’s so hard to nail one moment, but definitely in the editing room eating Cheez-Its at 3:30am making the video is in the top 3. Also just filming together with Mike directing me where to be for a stunt, then getting it and him being stoked on my shot and me stoked on his, that was just great stuff back then.

Apparently you & Mike have a history of butting heads, who was the instigator?
For sure Mike instigated most of the bad vibes, but I was a worthy target, I would shove the camera in his face and nag him, but he definitely took out his aggression on me. I got my own justice when we got into a fist fight while I was editing Rick's part for Virtual Reality, it's a great story that we re-visited on the commentary for the shoe DVD I put together. It's somewhat of an unknown event (Rick Howard was there, as was Mike Ternasky) and I have nothing but fond memories of hitting Mike, him hitting me and then us barely talking for the next 14 years. I wouldn't take back one minute of the filming and time we had together, no matter how many boards were lost to the sea.



What's your earliest memory of skating Embarcadero?
I don't remember the first time I went there, but I remember the main thing we skated there at the time was the Stage. We would do early grabs off of it like it was a jump ramp. Then one day I did a method off it and nose dived into a twisted ankle then got taken away in an ambulance 'cuz I was crying like a little bitch! That was the first time I ever got hurt.

How did you 1st hear about it?
I have no idea. I'm sure just like anyone hears about a skate spot- word of mouth.

Who discovered Embarcadero?
Fausto had one of the first photos there, so I'll say him.

How far did you live from Embarcadero? Could you skate there, or did you have to take a bus, train, etc?
We lived in Daly City and I think it was about a 15-20 minute drive. But we would take the 20C to Daly City BART then from there it was exactly a 20 minute BART ride.

Did the NSNG get started at Embarcadero? Who is to blame?
Yes, Embarcadero is the home of that trick and Sam Smyth is the man to blame.

Can you think of any other tricks that were 'invented' there?
I can't think of exact tricks, but I'd say there was a lot. And most of them were by Henry Sanchez

Did you ever sleep at EMB?
If I ever spent the night there I didn't sleep. We were either skating or doing other weird shit, then maybe take a nap the next day.

How bad did it get at its height of popularity?
Well, we got a lot of skaters coming from all over the world trying to live there or make it by skating the infamous 7 or Gonz gap. It was like a hostel/skatepark. It's funny 'cuz I go to Barcelona and I feel like I'm creeping around there like dudes did at Embarcadero back in the day.

Would it ever get too crowded where you couldn't skate?
Oh for sure. There were days where there would be hundreds of skaters flying around. It was crazy!!! Then you'd see all the locals freaking out, throwing their boards and making certain people feel uncomfortable.

Who was the most random pro you ever saw roll through Embarcadero?
Oh fuck, everyone was random to us and if they were pro they were even more random unless we knew them. Probably the most random was the dude from an old Powell video that was some kind of ballerina skater type dude, Daniel Gesmer. I don't even know if he was pro.

Did you ever ollie the Gonz gap?
Just ollied it.

Were you there when Gino b/s heel flipped the Gonz? If not, what did you think when you heard he did it?
I wasn't there and I wasn't sure if it was true 'cuz you'd always hear little rumors about tricks down there. I would have thought it was crazy if it was true, but I didn't know Gino back then so I didn't know what to think. Like if it was some kook that did it, he would get no credit, or if it was a regular dude that wasn't a goof.

What is your earliest memory of filming with Jake?
From what I remember, I went skating Palo Alto in some parking garage with Jovontae, Rick I., and some kid that took photos and filmed. They would fuck with him and give him shit. So I kind of picked up that bad habit as we started skating together.

How do you feel about the way you left things with Mike Ternasky?
You know at the time we did it the only way possible. Sure it could have been a little less abruptly, but if we would have let anyone know ahead of time, we would have gotten cock-blocked left and right. Rocco was gnarly and super powerful and didn't give a fuck. I do feel bad but it was the only way; I have no regrets.

What's your last memory of filming with Mike?
I can't really remember a last time I filmed with him- maybe in S.D., at those curbs down by the water? I did see Mike a day or two before he died up in Vancouver during Slam City. It was the first time we saw or talked to each other since we quit. It was really cool but at the time I wasn't mature enough to appreciate his positive words toward me/us.

Do you remember the last time that you were at Embarcadero skateboarding?
I think it was around 99. I watched Staba skate some gap that was part of the construction after they tore everything out.

What's the craziest non-skate related thing you ever saw happen there?
A whole lot of beat downs that could have been deadly. Heads hanging out with 40-oz's all day or dudes partying with a keg at the bottom of the 7. Banana Man, who was a guy that came there to pay someone to watch him jack off. A drunk couple on a date walking through and the lady asking to try the board, her feet flying out from under her and falling straight to her mouth then Karl Watson picking up her teeth off the ground and handing them to her. Fuck, there are too many stories to keep going.

Back then did you ever think you'd be talking about those days at Embarcadero 15 years later?
Back then I never thought 5 years ahead, let alone 15 years.

Apparently you and Jake have a history of butting heads, who was the instigator?
Him of course!!